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School's in Session with Mrs. Brinker: Teacher Appreciation Week

WTHR education expert Jennifer Brinker from Greenwood Middle School breaks down some of the best gifts to get for educators at any price point.

GREENWOOD, Ind. — This week is designated Teacher Appreciation Week, and what better way to thank your child's teacher than with a gift? 

WTHR education expert Jennifer Brinker from Greenwood Middle School breaks down some of the best gifts to give your educators to thank them for their work this school year.

Matthew Fultz-WTHR: Let’s break things down by price point. What is something that a teacher would love that would cost little to no money?

Mrs. Brinker: Well, the good news is, you can show your appreciation without spending a dime. Teachers did not go into this job for the money, they went into this job to make a difference. Knowing that you have made a positive impact on a student and are appreciated feels amazing. A handwritten note of gratitude or about what they enjoy in their teacher’s class would be an amazing gift. A drawing or picture a student could draw would certainly brighten a teacher’s day, as well. If you are looking for an inexpensive treat, the school secretary is a great resource to tap into to find out what the teacher’s favorite snack or drink is. A candy bar or soda at the right moment can feel priceless, but will only cost you a dollar or two. The main idea is just to recognize and celebrate the work that the teacher has poured into your child this year.

RELATED: Mrs. Brinker: Consequences of helicopter and snow plow parenting

Matthew Fultz-WTHR: What about parents who might want to get something at a mid-range price point?

Mrs. Brinker: Gift cards are always a great option. I know that the teachers I work with are big fans of gift cards from Target, Amazon, fast food restaurants, or coffee shops. Coffeehouse 5 here in Greenwood and Franklin have been very kind and donated items for our teachers, so I want to give them a shout-out. Gift cards can be great options that won’t break the bank and you can choose the dollar amount that you would like loaded onto the card. I would also suggest some nice house plants or flowering baskets as we get into the spring season.

Matthew Fultz-WTHR: What about someone who wants the "wow factor?" What should they purchase?

Mrs. Brinker: You mentioned it earlier, Matthew, it has been a tough year and it would be amazing to be gifted a spa service. I know that The Art of Healing and Brian Leslie Salons have been generous to my school, so I want to give them a shout-out. They have all kinds of services available. You can pre-pay for a massage, a treatment, a pedicure. You name it. Check out some of those websites and see what kinds of specials they are offering. I know that an experience, like a day at Top Golf, would be ideal for some men I work with. You can purchase an Indy Racing Experience package as the 500 approaches. For teachers with young kids, a zoo pass for the family could be a very fun gift to give as well. It is key to get to know what your child’s teacher enjoys and try to customize those experiences for them.

Matthew Fultz-WTHR: Any certain gifts to avoid?

Mrs. Brinker: I’ll be honest, in a time where schools have more on our plates than ever before, we would appreciate any act of kindness or appreciation. I would discourage against home-baked goods because so many people have special diets or food allergies. I would avoid school supplies unless you know your child’s teacher has a very specific supply they enjoy because it might not be something that your child’s teacher needs for their room. But, like I said before, any words of kindness and encouragement will help charge our batteries for this last very busy month of school and we are incredibly grateful!

RELATED: Mrs. Brinker: 3 things educators wish parents knew

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